Protecting the spectacular environment and cultural heritage values of the Gardens of Stone State Conservation Area (SCA) is at the heart of the park’s newly adopted Plan of Management, the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) said.
The Plan of Management also recognises the importance of the ancient landscape to the Wiradjuri People and supports ongoing cultural connections to Country.
NPWS Blue Mountains Branch Director David Crust said NPWS will continue to work closely with Wiradjuri community.
“The park will provide opportunities for people to learn about Wiradjuri culture,” Mr Crust said.
“The Plan of Management sets out the important values of the reserve and will ensure that all activities in the park will be in line with that plan.
“NPWS are actively working to implement key parts of the Plan, which has been shaped by feedback from more than 400 members of the community.
“The Plan also sets out the way forward for NPWS to deliver on the government’s $50 million investment to establish the park as a unique tourism destination for the Lithgow region, which will see improved access roads, new camping areas, toilets, lookouts, walking trails and cycle networks constructed.”
Activities to be permitted in the new 30,000 hectare park include camping, rock climbing, canyoning, 4-wheel drive touring, cycling and bushwalking.
Two new key attractions will be the development of the multi-day Wollemi Great Walk and the Lost City Adventure Experience.
All ecotourism activities and any new infrastructure will be designed to minimise impacts on the environment and will be subject to strict planning approval.
“The Plan ensures that conservation of the environment and protecting the cultural values of the park are the highest priority,” said Mr Crust.
“This special part of the world is home to over 80 rare and threatened species, including koalas and regent honeyeaters, and at least 16 threatened ecological communities.”
Once the new infrastructure and experiences are developed the Gardens of Stone SCA is expected to attract up to 200,000 new visitors each year, create 190 direct and indirect jobs and generate up to $30 million in regional economic activity.
The Plan of Management can be viewed on the department’s website.